MASSIVE 3 – 20 WIN FOR AMPTHILL LIONESSES
Ampthill, Captained by Sophie Roberts, were able to field ten U13 girls for the game against Worthing RFU to conclude the end to a fantastic southern tour.
The game started with high expectations from the Ampthill girls due to recent performances. But with an unknown side to face players and supporters alike were rightly nervous.
The nerves were unfounded though and from the start of the match the Ampthill lionesses took control and dominated the Worthing side. Immense pressure from Ampthill startled their opponents and the tries began to flow at regular intervals with Sian Williams leading the charge on the wing with the first try. The Worthing side was pinned down in their own half with poor handling skills and kicking at the start. However there were moments where they showed pace and intelligent thinking that could of unbalanced the Ampthill girls if unchecked. These moments of clarity from Worthing would be to no avail as the Ampthill side showed great determination in defence even driving the ball back over their try line to prevent a scoring run from Worthing. Ashley Wood, Chloe Flanagan and Sophie Roberts put in stunning first half tackles that ensured Ampthill dominance. Two high tackles, caused by enthusiasm, from an Ampthill player threatened a yellow card but no further incidents occurred and a full team was retained. Ashley Wood looked to be injured after executing a great tackle but after making sure she was still in one piece she re-joined the game and continued.
Sian Williams and Anwen Rolfe proved a great running pair on the left wing with several tries scored during the first half. As soon as they could break free from the Worthing pack they enjoyed, for the most part, clear running ground taking the ball across the Try line. Leah Flores was firing on all cylinders and was crucial to taking the team forward when the forward play slowed down. She was backed up by Amelie Backhouse who recently returned from injury showing that she was on top form after a slow start to the match.
The second half proved to be similar to the first, apart from a small lull in the Ampthill onslaught early on which allowed a rare Worthing Try. Once again superb tackles from the Ampthill team prevented any serious advances from Worthing and as is becoming standard, great running play up the wings and drives through the center were awesome. The match ended with the biggest winning margin from this team yet with a 3 – 20 victory.
Thanks must go to Worthing RFU who were superb hosts and as such are welcome to visit for a re-match on home turf.
Ampthill strengths have always centered on their pace on the wing and strength in the center but have sometimes lacked all round joined up performance. This match proved that this idea should be cast into history as a more mature playing approach has become evident. Central to the teams all round playing ability is Sophie Roberts who once again was voted Lady of the Match.
Mentioned in dispatches Were Chloe Flanagan, Amelie Backhouse and Patsy Hallam.
Cliché: It is always the match reporter’s dilemma, associated with a junior team, to praise everyone to ensure that no one individual is discouraged or disheartened. But this team truly encapsulates the spirit of sport and all players deserve credit and applause. As such they should all be mentioned. There are no ego’s present and no one person above all others. They work as a team, think as a team and play as a team both on and off the field.
Ampthill RUFC should be rightfully proud of this young team and applaud their Esprit De Corps. They represent the finest of Rugby traditions.
One Final note: The team, which includes players, coaches and parents alike need to say a massive thank you to Coach Dave Dunstan for his continued dedication and encouragement to these girls, our daughters. Dave you are helping to form a not only a rugby team but confident young women who will benefit from your hard work for years to come. On behalf of us all THANK YOU!
Sophie Roberts, Chloe Flanagan, Patsy Hallam, Ashley Wood, Amelie Backhouse, Leah Flores, Jess Flores, Sian Williams, Anwen Rolfe, Abi Saunders.
Coaches: Dave Dunstan, Richard Roberts, Charlotte Saunders.